Matelote of Eels

Claret, bay leaf, thyme and cloves make matelote of eel a spicy main dish.

Skin two large eels, cut them into pieces, without opening the belly, thrust a knife blade into each piece, and twist it around to remove the inside. Wash them well; put into a saucepan with one breakfast cupful of stock and half a pint of claret, adding a clove of garlic, a whole pepper, a sliced onion, a bay leaf, thyme, cloves, parsley and a little salt, and boil gently until done. Take out the pieces of fish, strain the liquor and add a liquorglassful of brandy to it. Put a piece of butter into a saucepan, stir in one tablespoonful of flour to thicken, add it to the sauce and boil. Place croutons of fried bread in a circle on a dish; arrange the fish in the center, pour the sauce over and serve.

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